Cheesecake Fruit Tart

cheesecake fruit tart

Hello Blog World, it’s good to be back! Here we are a few days shy of 4 months since my last post and what a 4-month ride it has been.

Earlier in the year I was beginning to blubber over my firstborn baby’s high school years coming to an end and life soon taking a new turn and a new rhythm. Had I not had the experiences I did these past months, I would be a soggy mess. Admittedly, I had a few mom-moments as my eldest accepted her diploma, but my heart wasn’t heavy. It was – and still is – swelled with sheer joy and thankfulness at the opportunities that lie ahead for both of my beauties.

And who knows? Maybe this new chapter in life will mark a new beginning for me and I’ll post with some degree of steady frequency. One can always hope. Meanwhile, today I’m sharing a recipe for the cheesecake fruit tart our family enjoyed after graduation, a longtime family favorite.

You’ll need a true tart pan for this cheesecake fruit tart recipe as the sugar-cookie crust is filled with a light cheesecake filling that is not firm enough to use as topping should you make the crust flat as for a fruit pizza. It is not runny cheesecake filing,  it does firm up, but if you’re like me and you like a lot of filling it won’t work for fruit pizza. Having a border crust helps to hold the cheesecake filling in, providing a yummy bed for whatever fruit toppings your little ol’ hear desires. In my case,  it is a limited selection of fruit toppings that will not send my sister to the ER with anaphylaxis.

slice of cheesecake fruit tart

This cheesecake fruit tart recipe is a combination of two recipes;  a perfect marriage of flavors that makes for a delightful and versatile dessert. Note: You will have cheesecake filling left over that I urge you to consider as reward for preparing the dessert. Enjoy those smooth-and-creamy-spoonfuls of cheesecake filling without a teaspoon of guilt over not sharing. Tell yourself you deserve it!  Works for me every time.

Cheesecake Fruit Tart
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14-16
Sugar Cookie Crust:
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 1-8 oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature
  • ⅓ C lemon juice
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ of 1-8 oz container of lite whipped topping
Fruit topping as desired
  1. Begin by preparing the crust. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add flour and mix until well blended. Press into an ungreased 11- or 12-in. fluted tart pan with removable bottom or 12-in. pizza pan with sides. Bake crust at 300° for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk until well blended and creamy. Fold in whipped topping. (I use ½ of an 8-oz container but you prefer an even lighter and even sweeter cheesecake filling.)
  3. Carefully pour filling into cookie crust leaving room for fruit topping. (There will be leftover filling to enjoy 🙂

Wishing you a sweet Saturday,


Rule of 1 – Peanut Butter Pie

What do you do after noshing on a variety of savory appetizers, dips, and finger foods? You balance it out with a slice of creamy peanut butter pie (aka ” Rule of 1 pie” at my house).  You don’t think about the calories and you most definitely don’t glimpse at the pedometer you’re wearing that is grossly under the recommended daily steps because tomorrow is another day in which you can hit the treadmill with vim and vigor.

slice of peanut butter pie

This recipe can’t be any easier as it calls for 1 of every ingredient and there are only 6. It’s an easy list to store to memory and a great dessert to make when you’re short on time. When using a purchased pie crust it’s pretty much effortless. Then again, crushing a bag of Oreos or any other chocolate sandwich cookie can be considered exercise, right? Sure.

ingredients for peanut butter pie

Beat one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, 1 cup of powdered sugar and one container of whipped topping until creamy. Pour into chocolate pie crust and top with one package of peanut butter cups, chopped. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and then dig into a decadent slice of heaven aka Rule of 1 Peanut Butter Pie.

peanut butter pie

Wishing you a New Year filled with many sweet moments! Enjoy!

Rule of 1 - Peanut Butter Pie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8oz container whipped topping
  • 1 chocolate pie crust
  • 1 package peanut butter cups, chopped
  1. Beat cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar and whipped topping and mix until thoroughly combined and creamy.
  3. Pour into pie crust and top with chopped peanut butter cups.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.


Pumpkin Sweet Potato Pie

I hope you enjoyed a bountiful and beautiful Thanksgiving! It might seem odd that I’m posting this recipe for pumpkin sweet potato pie after Thanksgiving but there’s good reason with a side of good lesson on being thankful – even for our shortcomings.

pumpkin sweet potato pie

Wednesday evening as I was preparing my traditional homemade fresh pumpkin pie I discovered that I was short on puree. Of course, I didn’t roast the pumpkin in advance. No, no. I was in what I call “ram mode” and going at it start to finish with no time to waste. After all, my beautiful niece was home from college and over for the evening and there were games to be played, chit chat to catch up on, and a movie to watch like old times.

As I began preparing the pie filling I came to realize that I am a poor pumpkin judger. I am not at the caliber of those who can eye a fresh pie pumpkin and estimate to near exactness the quantity of yummy puree said pumpkin will produce. Nope, not me. I had two fresh pumpkins in the garage and I consciously choose the small one thinking it would be the perfect size. Well, let me say that I am thankful for that lack of pumpking judging talent because had I not been short on puree I would not have produced this recipe for pumpkin sweet potato pie by default.

The best sweet potato pie I have ever devoured is from the one and only Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in Georgia. When it comes to pumpkin pie, however, there are quite a few that I can rave about.  And my own isn’t too shabby either, if I do say so myself, thanks in part to the delightful recipe in the Southern Living Cookbook. But this pie. This pumpkin sweet potato pie is something to tweet about. It’s a delicious marriage of two wonderful pie flavors combined into one. It’s the best, sweet, hasty creation by default that I have ever made. If you don’t enjoy this pie post Thanksgiving this year, by all means bookmark this page or print it and file a hard copy where you’ll find it next year. And then let me know how you like it.


Pumpkin Sweet Potato Pie
Serves: 6-8
  • 1½ cups cooked, mashed pumpkin puree
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked and mashed
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg or mace
  • ½ cup 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 unbaked 10-inch pie crust
  1. Combine pumpkin, sweet potato, brown sugar, butter and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add spices and evaporated milk and stir until combined.
  2. In another bowl, beat egg whites until they are just starting to stiffen. Add the tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold egg whites into pumpkin/potato mixture.
  4. Pour filling into pie shell and back at 400F for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake an additional 45-50 minutes or until set.





Blueberry Crisp – Healthy and Guilt-Free

I had no idea that July is National Blueberry Month. I also had no idea that these bitty blue berries contain the highest level of antioxidants of all fresh fruit.  Goes to show one can learn something new every day, just as one can also make a blueberry crisp healthy without tons of fat while venturing into new fruit dessert territory at the same time.

I love fruit crisps, crumbs, cobblers, bettys and bops – pretty much anything that gives fruit a crunchy layer of goodness. But, surprisingly, in all my 44 years I do not recall ever having a blueberry version of any of the aforementioned treats.  I must have been in an apple/peach/blackberry/pear slump (oh, that’s another yummy fruit dessert) and paid no mind to the powerhouse of all fruits.  I’m not sure what moved me the other night, but by golly I had a taste for blueberries and decided to be daring.  Make a blueberry crisp and healthy at that? Yep, that’s living on the edge.

blueberry crisp healthy and delicious

A guilt-free dessert is my kind of treat and this blueberry crisp was long on flavor and short on fat.  Thank you to the nice people at Cooking Light whose website is chock full of healthy blueberry crisp recipes –one that served as the basis for my recipe.

Oatmeal is a traditional crisp topping but cornmeal? Oh yes, cornmeal. Try it. You’ll like it.

After freezing over ten pints of blueberries within last few weeks, I used what I had on hand  Next time – maybe next week – I’ll try this crisp with fresh blueberries to compare textures. Two blueberry crisps in one month – over the top.  Maybe the week after that I’ll make a blueberry betty.  If anyone has a recipe for a blueberry bop, be sure to pass it along.

Blueberry Crisp - Healthy and Guilt-Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Brown sugar, oatmeal and cornmeal provide a sweet crunch topping to plump blueberries and almond flavoring lends a special touch to this healthy blueberry crisp.
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ¼ cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons cornstarch evenly around the dish.
  4. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, almond, and blueberries in a large bowl. Toss well and spoon into prepared baking dish.
  5. Combine flour, remaining brown sugar, oats and cornmeal in a medium size bowl and cut butter into mixture using two knives or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Spoon topping evenly over blueberries.
  6. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes if using frozen berries, 30 minutes if using fresh blueberries.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie Recipe

I’m back after a short siesta that was anything but restful. Life has been busy, but full of blessings so I’ll just put a cork in it and not complain. After all, I did find the time to try out a new pie crust recipe from Cooking Light that made a tasty base for my strawberry rhubarb crumb pie. I should rename it Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie Recipe with Less Guilt. 🙂

strawberry rhubarb crumb pie recipe

If you read my blurb on cranberries, you’ll gather I’m not one to enjoy anything that makes my eyes water and my lips pucker. And you may recall that it took a clean-out-the-fridge bread baking adventure to change my outlook on Wisconsin’s finest fruit. Rhubarb has a similar story. My late Gramz was quite the baker and in her youth she was in charge of baking pies for the borders every Saturday, baking a variety for the coming week. I should add that the home that housed the borders eventually became “the homestead” – the home that my Gramps moved into shortly after they married, the home where my mother grew up, and the home my grandmother lived in after Gramps passed and Alzheimer’s forced her into a safer envionment. Well, someone, at some point in time, planted rhubarb at the homestead and Gramz kept it growing throughout my youth. Strawberry rhubarb pie was her #1 favorite pie. Having passed the pie loving gene to her decendents, I had never met a pie I didn’t savor until I had a bite of Gramz’s favorite that she happened to make “low sugar.” It scarred me for decades.

Fast forward to my own homestead and two strawberry rhubarb lovers in the house (Hubby and youngest Beauty) and their never meeting a crumb topped anything they didn’t savor.  It took many trials before I perfected my strawberry rhubarb crumb pie recipe — one that I thoroughly enjoy and one my firstborn Beauty actually tried…and liked. Crumb topping in all its buttery goodness made me think twice about the crust, so I gave Cooking Light’s pie crust recipe a try and found a winner. Definitely two forks up.

strawberry rhubarb crumb pie

Hmm, crumb topping might even make cooked cranberries taste good.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie Recipe
Serves: 6-8
Sweet strawberries with a hint of rhubarb tang get a layer of decadence with a buttery crumb topping. A beautiful presentation and delicious summer dessert!
  • 5 medium stalks rhubarb, cut into think slices
  • 1½ lbs. strawberries, sliced
  • 1⅔ Cup white sugar, divided
  • 1½ Cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons tapioca
  • 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ Cup butter
  • 1 unbaked 9" pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Mix 1 cup of sugar, ⅓ cup of flour, rhubarb, strawberries and nutmeg in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
  3. Let set 5 minutes.
  4. Gently stir in tapioca.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fruit mixture into unbaked pie shell.
  6. Make crumb topping by cutting ⅓ Cup butter into ½ C all-purpose flour mixed with ⅔ Cup white sugar until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  7. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the fruit filling.
  8. Transfer pie to cookie sheet to catch any spills and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  9. Cool on rack.


Low-Fat Caramel Pumpkin Flan

Low Fat Caramel Pumpkin Flan Cleaning out my recipe cabinet has been a work-in-progress that I started last May; then halted in June, July, and August…and most of September and October. I like to think of it as prudence instead of procrastination. Combing through a collection of twenty years worth of cookbooks, magazines, and recipe binders takes great care.  It’s like digging through a treasure trove.

I went back at it this past weekend while in the mood to make a dessert that wouldn’t require any additional treadmill time.  The pumpkin flan recipe  in The Low-Fat Way to Cook – a hardcover from 1995 – looked promising and I’m happy to report I struck gold!  Smooth and indulgent with roughly 195 calories per serving following my preparation (185 calories following the standard recipe), this low-fat caramel pumpkin flan is a guilt-free satisfying dessert that is too good to not pass along.  Enjoy!

Guilt free low-fat Caramel Pumpkin Flan Recipe

I made only three modifications to the original recipe: (1) I wanted to make  individual pumpkin flans instead of one large  8-inch flan,  (2) I reduced fat caramel topping that I had on hand instead of cooking sugar to make caramel, and (3) I used real eggs instead of egg substitute. The result? Creamy delicousness!


  • 8 individual 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups -or- one 8-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray
  • Low fat caramel sauce OR 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaported skimmed milk
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites OR 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Lite whipped topping (optional)


1.  Spread a scant tablespoon of low-fat caramel sauce at the bottom of each ramekin (or cook 1/2 cup of sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar melts and turns a light brown, then pour into cakpan, tilting to coat evenly).

2.  Combine milks and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan; heat just until bubbles form around the edge of your sacucepan, stirring until all sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

3.  Gradually stir one-fourth of hot milk mixture into eggs/susbtitute to temper it; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Add pumpkin and spice; stir well.

4.  Place ramekins (or cakepan) in a large shallow baking pan; pour pumpkin mixture to top lip of ramekin (if using cakepan, it will be very full). Pour hot water to a depth of 1 inch into large pan.

5.  Cover and bake at 325F for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.

6.  Remove flan(s) from water and cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. To serve, loosen edges with spatula and invert onto serving plate. Top with a dollop of lite whipped topping and sprinkle with cinnamon.